Goldmine grapplers discover record-setting power |

Goldmine grapplers discover record-setting power

Goldmine Wrestling Club members are coming off quite a number of strong performances over the summer, and their coach had a pretty good idea why.

Combining their wrestling skills with a new approach to their training, Goldmine’s grapplers are seeing both an increase in strength and their place on the podiums.

Both Jacob and Julian Purdy each came back from the nationals in Fargo, N.D. this summer as All-American wrestlers in the Greco Roman competition. Robin Callas placed among the top 20 in the nation and Kyle Newman among the top 40 in the country.

And, according to coach Nick Saldivar, powerlifting is playing a big role in the results.

“It was a major component,” Saldivar said. “It was one of those things that we didn’t have last year. I’m still working with our gameplan, but I’m having Steve (Mathews from IronWorks Athletic Club) training the guys while he’s learning more about our sport and I’m learning more about the lifting.”

Mathews, who has put on many sanctioned powerlifting events in Grass Valley, was not only impressed with the strength gained by the grapplers, but also by the amount of weight they were able to lift.

And who wouldn’t have been taken back a bit, considering they were quickly setting state and national records?

“Steve was really impressed,” Saldivar said. “He thought they were much older than they were because of the amount of weight they were lifting. I started talking to him about how old they were and he said ‘I think they’re breaking national and state records, here.'”

During the Sierra Nevada Power Lifting Cup, 16-year-old Dalton Stephenson and 18-year-old Jacob Purdy did break national records for the dead lift in their age and weight classes.

In the 16-17 age group and 123-pound weight class, Stephenson set a new standard with a lift of 320.67 pounds. Purdy, competing in the same weight class but in 18-19 year-old division, set a record of 331.69 pounds.

The powerlifting competition not only benefited the wrestlers competing on the national level, but also gave the Goldmine club members back home something to be striving for over the summer. They took third overall in team competition.

“They still had something to work for, so it was big for them, too,” Saldivar said. “Steve’s done really well with the boys.”

Fourteen-year-old Will Sumner set a record in the 13-15 age group of the 114-pound class with a lift of 231.49. Julian Purdy now owns the state standard in the 16-17 age group of the 132-pound class after lifting 320.67 pounds. Newman now hold the record in the 16-17 age group of the 181-pounders with a lift of 429.90 pounds.

Some of the wrestlers fell short of state standards, but impressed by both the ratio between weight lifted and how much they weigh. Dillon Flores had the highest ratio, lifting 435.41 pounds while weighing 148, which earned him “Deadlifter of the Meet” out of the Junior Division. Eighteen-year-old Rafael Iriarte, who weighs 220 pounds, had the heaviest lift in the competition at 512.57.

The team used the competition as a lift-a-thon fundraiser for the Nevada Union wrestling program, Saldivar said. He said another lift-a-thon, is planned for the program’s Casino Night fundraising event.

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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